by Olivia Barabanchuk (she/her)

Artwork by Sona Harrison.

Clementine, ever mine,
In the palm of my hand,
Porous flesh that dips and puckers
Oils released from glands.

The stem cut short but still not fallen,
within the circle of peel;
Like the cord from womb to babe,
In a sundering ordeal.

Does it remember its Mother Tree,
Or am I all its got?
While pondering upon the fact
The little one was dropped –

A smack that hit from flesh to floor
In copious alarm,
A sickening sound that sharply rung 
On tan linoleum,
Smack.

Though quiet, quiet when taken up
A pulsing feeling, slow,
Was felt through encasing bitter rind;
Growing embryo.

Ripping off the peel to see
The veins beneath the skin,
Organic white in newfound light
Lay branching from within.

With slice in mouth to push away
The feel of voiceless null
The sound of bite, to my dismay,
Came reverberating in my skull.

Crackle to pulp to crackle again,
Sat me, in wide-eyed stupor,
The crackle to meat to crackle again
Made me a cautious intruder.

In my fraudulent fingers remain
The remanent, inedible strings,
And now my pocket carries all these 
Lingering, corpulent things. 

Olivia Barabanchuk

Olivia Barabanchuk is a poet that is currently studying in University College Dublin as an English and Creative Writing student. She has had poetry published by Poetry Ireland for 2020 and 2021’s “Poetry Day Teacher’s Resources Guide”, as well as in the 2018 edition of CDETB’s “We Write What We Like”. Her work has been read on RTÉ 2FM and she has had two radio shows in partnership with Belfield FM.

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